Far and attractive South Korea

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South Korea hosted the World Journalists Conference on March 4-11, 2018. The conference, organized by the Journalists Association of Korea, brought together about 70 journalists from 50 countries of the world.

The journalists were able not only discuss the main topic revolving around the “Role of Journalists for Nuclear Disarmament of the Korean Peninsula” and exchange experience, but also visit the sights of historical importance, cultural and technological attractions of South Korea.

Thus, the journalists were given the opportunity to tour to Seoul, Suwon, Sejong, Andong, Daegu, Busan, Jeju Island and Incheon, during which they met with local authorities to discuss the topic of peaceful Korea and the development of South Korea.

The acquaintance with South Korea has started with a meeting with chairman of the Seoul Metropolitan Council and then the Dongdaemun Design Plaza, the major urban development landmark in Seoul which is famous for its unusual shape without corners and futuristic exhibits inside.

Suwon

Suwon city is one of the largest industrial centers of Korea.

Hwaseong Haenggung Palace is located in Suwon. This Korean fortress was built by King Jeongjo of the Joseon Dynasty to house and honour the remains of his father Prince Sado, who had been executed by being locked alive inside a rice chest by his own father King Yeongjo.

The site was designated as a World Heritage site by the UNESCO in 1997.

At one of the entrances to the fortress there was 24 Martial Art Trial performance, which aroused a big interest of participants of the conference.

Suwon is also called the capital of Korean football, as it is the home to famous Suwon Samsung Bluewings football team. The Suwon World Cup Stadium was one of the venues of the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

The world famous Samsung’s Innovation Museum (SIM) is also located in Suwon. The museum, which was opened in 2014 and timed to the 45th anniversary of Samsung, is more than museum and looks like a show-room, where the inventions of the past coexist with the Samsung innovations.

The SIM presents the growth stages of the largest Korean corporation in the electronics industry. There is an exposition showing the history and future of innovative technologies in the electronics industry.

Very curious place in Suwon was the Mr. Toilet House, the biggest toilet sculpture in the world, as it was unusual museum for all the reporters.

Former mayor of Suwon city Mr. Sim Jae-duck rebuilt his house into a shape of toilet. After his death, the family members donated the house to Suwon City as stated in his will.

The city of Suwon changed the house to Toilet Culture Museum and opened Toilet Culture Park.

The museum and park present the history of Korean toilets.

Sejong

In Sejong the international reporters met with Mayor of the city, a new administrative capital of South Korea, which is going to be a new brain and heart of Korea with 60 % of government administrations now functioning in Sejong, according to mayor.

With the population of 300 thousand people a new administrative capital city, which is located in the center of South Korea, is 120 kilometers away from Seoul, and within 2 hours of driving by car from any other cities.

During the meeting in the Sejong City Hall the Mayor explained that the most important reason to create the administrative city was to address overpopulation of south area.

Andong

Hahoe Folk village in Andong was the most interesting place to visit after modern cities.

The village is a valuable part of Korean culture because it has preserved many of its original structures, such as the village Confucian school and other buildings, and maintains folk arts such as the Hahae Mask Dance Drama which is a shamanist rite honoring the communal spirits of the village. Journalists were delighted to see the Mask Dance show, which was played on air in spite of cold weather that day.

The village was listed with UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 2010.

One more sight in Andong was a Soju factory. Soju is a Korean national alcoholic beverage, an analog of vodka, with a strength of 20 to 45%. In the museum the reporters get acquainted with the activities of production and at the end tried the product.

Daegu

The fourth largest after Seoul, Busan, and Incheon, Daegu is currently focusing on fostering fashion and high-tech industries.

The first Center for Creative Economy & Innovation in South Korea was set up in Daegu City in 2014. Startups at these centers hopefully can make a great contribution to the Korean economy by creating competitive products and services.

The start up, which aroused great interest of journalists was a smart umbrella, which tells the weather forecast. The item also helps prevent loss of either smartphone or umbrella, each of which gives off an alarm or vibration when they are more than 10 meters apart. Also, the smart umbrella notifies its users by vibrating if the smartphone connected to the app receives calls or text messages while they are using it.

Busan

Busan is the South Korea's second most-populous city after Seoul with a population of over 3.5 million inhabitants. Busan astonished almost all the reporters from the first sight with its skyscrapers and other architectural sights located on the beach.

In Busan, the journalsists visited the United Nations Memorial Cemetery in Korea, which is a burial ground for United Nations Command casualties of the Korean War. It contains 2,300 graves and is the only United Nations cemetery in the world.

It was officially established as the United Nations Memorial Cemetery in 1955.

After the video presentation about the Korean war, the international journalists paid a tribute of victims of the Korean war by a minute of silence.

The territory of the memorial cemetery is very clean, looks like a park with paths and trees of different shapes.

The Busan Cinema Center is the official, exclusive venue of the Busan International Film Festival, where its opening and closing ceremonies take place, The building won the International Architecture Award and a Guinness World Record for the "longest cantilever roof" in the world.

The building is also known as the cinema paradise of Korea.

Despite the fact that the visit to Busan Cinema Center was in late evening, the journalists were liven up seeing such an amazing building.

Jeju island

Jeju Island is the largest and beautiful island in South Korea. The island formed by volcanic eruptions approximately 2 million years ago.

Not many people are aware that this beautiful island was covered with blood 70 years ago. For better understanding of Korean history the journalists visited the April 3 Peace Memorial Hall Neobeunsungi 4.3 Historical site.

4.3 is known as SASAM in Koreans or April 3 in 1948 when uprising massacre occurred in the island up to September 1954. Then 30,000 people died as a result of the rebellion.

80-years old Go Wan-san, who came to meet foreign journalists told testimonies, when she was 9 years girl.

She told about what she has experienced those years, what she has seen with her own eyes, about people shot dead and tortured on the streets, about starvation period and at the end her story she expressed hope for unification of two Koreas.

Incheon

Incheon is a beautiful port city with lots of great natural resources and gourmet seafood.

Areas known as Chinatown exist throughout the world. South Korea is not exception and its Chinatown is located in this lovely city.

50,000 people ethnic Chinese live in the Incheon Chinatown, which provides people with various food, attractions. There are many Chinese cafes, restaurants and shops.

There was also Turkish man selling ice creams with a little show.

Thus, during 8 days journalists from various countries of the world (most of them were visiting South Korea for the first time) saw with their own eyes how South Korea is turning into one of the most prosperous and rich countries in the world after the Korean war.

Such successes are achieved by hard working people of Korea, who are also very friendly and hospitable.

Nurzhan Kasmalieva

Kabar News Agency

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